Notable not in this preview: Travis Laboy, Hawaii. I saw Laboy as a junior, and he impressed me with his edge speed and pass rush ability. But at the same time he struggled as a run stopper, although I did see him having some upside to develop there due to his strength. At that time, I projected him as a very solid outside linebacker in the 3-4, and still think he could make that transition. But he seems set on being a defensive end, and I do see now that it is probably his better position. I would say that Laboy would merit a fourth round selection, but probably has enough upside to push him into the third round.
Pros: Has an explosive first step and plays very disciplined in his pass rush. Has a good motor and gets good leverage against the run.
Cons: Needs more strength and struggles at the point of attack. Doesnít have amazing edge speed.
NFL Forecast: Smith can be an excellent player when he wants to be. Itís not the question that he takes plays off, but he seems to be more intent on his assignments than being the unstoppable force that heís capable of being. In fact, he plays down to his competition at times. There are times when you know he can get five sacks in a game, but he only gets one or two. He's a good athlete, but not the most athletic defensive end prospect you've ever seen and that's why he's not as high on many teams boards as he should be. He's closer to the effort and finesse ends like a Strahan than a monster athlete like a Kearse. He should develop into a fine NFL player that will be a consistent double-digit sack guy. He has the upside to be an elite defensive end mentioned in the same breath as the aforementioned ends, but it remains to be seen if he'll develop that far.
Value: Plays well and has good upside. He merits a definite Top 10 selection, although lack of great athleticism pushes him out the top five.
Pros: Superb athlete with quick first step, and capable into dropping into coverage and covering backs and tight ends. Can make plays in pursuit and has great speed.
Cons: Struggles at the point of attack and doesn't do a good job shedding blockers. Doesn't have a lot of pass rush moves, and unless he beats you with his first step he won't beat you at all. Is still getting used to being his current size.
NFL Forecast: He is a raw pass rusher that has great athleticism. As he develops he could be a top defensive end on the next level, but he's got to refine his technique and skills. He'd be a better fit as a rush end on the right side, but he'll probably play on the left side because of his size and the potential matchup problems with right ends. He likely won't ever be a great run stopper, but as he uses his size better to get more leverage he'll be competent in that area. He's the closest thing to Julius Peppers in terms of athletics, but not close to Peppers in terms of pass rush ability yet. His weight is a concern, it's fluctuated so much over recent years, so he might get off to a slow start in the pros, as he searches for his ideal playing weight. At this point, it looks like it could be anywhere between 270 and 285 pounds.
NFL Comparison: Hugh Douglas, Jaguars.
Value: First Round. He's definitely an upside pick. Who wouldn't love to have this type of athlete on their roster?
Pros: Has quick first step and good edge speed. Uses size and mass well to get leverage against the run. Capable of anchoring at the point of attack. Has good strength and a good motor. Capable of playing inside on passing downs. He can also make plays against the run in pursuit.
Cons: Doesn't have explosive edge speed or burst to the football. Doesn't play as strong as his size indicates and doesn't do a good job getting off blocks. Will sometimes play too high.
NFL Forecast: He could definitely be a dual player, that plays end on first and second downs and then tackle on third downs. He won't ever be a great pass rusher, but should be a decent complementary player. Some teams will look at his speed, and immediately move him permanently inside. And he could be a good fit there as a one-gap tackle. But he won't be great there since he's too tall and will struggle to get leverage versus the run on the inside. His best assets are his size and his versatility to play both end and tackle on the next level.
Value: A Top 25 prospect that needs a bit more polish and consistency, but his size and versatility are big plusses.
Pros: Has quick first step and edge speed. Has good frame to put on more weight and already has pretty good strength. Shows some ability to play in coverage. Has good motor and can make plays in pursuit.
Cons: Lacks size and is a liability at the point of attack. Doesn't have a wealth of pass rushing moves yet. Has been an underachiever.
NFL Forecast: There is something about McCray that just gives me this feeling he's going to be a stud on the next level, despite not being the most consistent guy on the college level. He needs to get bigger, but he's already good enough that he can be an every-down end in the NFL. He's not the quickest end I've seen in recent years, but I think he is going to be a solid pass rusher at the next level. Unlike others he plays a lot more disciplined. He's not going to be an outside linebacker despite his speed and marginal abilities in coverage. That would be wasting his talent. I'm not sure if he'll be a double-digit sack guy consistently at end, but he'll be a capable starter on the right side. Will probably have success somewhere between that of former Gators Jevon Kearse and Alex Brown.<
Value: I want to put him in round two, but there are definite concerns with him, so he drops to the next round.
Pros: Has good drive and leg base to push the pocket. Shows ability to get leverage versus the run and can handle himself at the point of attack. Shows great motor and has the speed and range to make plays in pursuit.
Cons: Doesn't wow you with his edge speed. Could get stronger.
NFL Forecast: He looks like a quality left end in a 4-3 scheme, but needs work on his pass rush abilities. Basically he gets by more off his motor than anything else. Will be a quality player on the next level, but may never be a guy that posts big numbers. Sometimes you watch him and you see him as a real impact player that could be a double-digit sack guy on the next level. But other times, he looks like an overachiever that won't be as successful in the pros as he was in college. At the least, however, I suspect he'll make a good left end that could be a consistent 6-8 sack guy, and every now and then can get 10-12 sacks in a season.
Value: He's a capable run stopper and quality pass rusher, which combine to make him a solid third round selection.
Pros: Has good size and plays the run well. Has good strength and gets good leverage versus the run. Has a quick first step and does a good job getting upfield.
Cons: Struggles at the point of attack and lacks the ability to anchor versus the run. Doesnít have great edge speed.
NFL Forecast: Scott is a bit of a tweener. He plays both end and tackle for the Buckeyes, and will do the same in the NFL. He has the size you like in a one-gap tackle, but heís not good enough at the point of attack versus the run to hold up full-time in the middle. He doesnít have great edge speed, but has enough to play left end on the next level and will be a productive end. He wonít ever be the type that racks up double-digit sacks but should be a quality and productive pass rusher. A good all-around player that plays hard and works hard, and gets good results. Teams will just have to find the position that works best for him in their defense, but it's more likely to be end than tackle.
NFL Comparison: Vonnie Holliday, Chiefs.
Value: He's a tweener which drops him to the top of the fourth round although he has enough ability to merit a third round selection.
Pros: Has good edge speed and first step on the outside. Has excellent pass rushing instincts. Has a good frame for supporting more weight. Has excellent motor and never quits.
Cons: Lacks strength and ability versus the run. Doesn't get leverage and struggles at the point of attack. Sometimes too intent on gaining penetration and will run right by a play.
NFL Forecast: I think he's better right now than his brother Aaron (now with Bills) was coming out of school, at least in terms of pass-rushing instincts. The bottom line is that Schobel knows how to get after the quarterback. He's less than desirable as a run stopper. He might have a future at linebacker in the 3-4 system. He's going to need to get bigger in order to be an every-down NFL player, but right now he could immediately enter the league and be an effective situational pass rusher. I think he's going to get bigger and improve vs. the run, if he applies the same drive he displays on the football field in the classroom and weight room.
NFL Comparison: Aaron Schobel, Bills.
Value: Fourth round. If a team is looking for a situational guy in the short-term, but a long-term starter, then he'd merit a possible third round selection.
Pros: Has good upfield quickness and a variety of pass rush moves. He's disciplined with pass rush ability and knows where the football is. Has the speed to make plays versus the run in pursuit.
Cons: Lacks the size and strength to be a major factor in the run game. Can get engulfed by bigger linemen.
NFL Forecast: Torbor looks like he'll convert well to being an outside linebacker on the next level. He could play defensive end on the next level, but he's going to need to bulk up some more and play in the 265-270 range so that he can make sure he can play every down. At end right now, he's most likely only going to be a situational guy although with added bulk and strength he could be a starting end.
Value: Fourth round. Worth that for a team looking to move him to linebacker, but a fifth rounder as an end.
Pros: Has good speed and a quick first step upfield. Has long arms and has ability to shield blockers off his body in the run game. Good in pursuit and has a good motor. A solid athlete.
Cons: Lacks great strength and doesn't play well at the point of attack. Will tend to penetrate rather than anchoring versus the run. Doesn't do much if he can't beat the lineman with his first move.
NFL Forecast: He has good pass rush potential, but did not have as good a senior year as expected. Has raw potential to be a good rush end. Has the frame to get bigger so that he can improve against the run. He was tabbed as a potential late first rounder, and the potential to develop into that type of player is there, but he's not there yet. He's too raw. He's the type of player you would want to pick as a developmental guy, but if you needed him to contribute right away, you should shy away.
Value: Has potential, but still a bit of project. Worth a fourth rounder.
Pros: Has a great first step and is a good edge pass rusher. Shows some strength and can make plays against the run in pursuit.
Cons: Needs to bulk up and add more strength. Gets engulfed by blockers and struggles at the point of attack. Plays high.
NFL Forecast: He needs to bulk up to around 265. Should develop into a top pass rusher on the next level. His instincts in that area are among the best in the class. With added strength should become effective vs. the run, but will never be a good run stopper. I see him being a top situational pass rusher, but unless he adds more weight he won't be a starter. Had the chance to put on some muscle at the end of the season, but did not, so you wonder if he ever will.
Value: A good situational guy with upside to become a starter eventually, so he's worth a fourth round pick.
Pros: Has great first step and explosion upfield. Has good speed and can make plays in pursuit. Has a good motor.
Cons: Lacks size and strength. Strictly an edge rusher that prefers to run around guy rather than using a variety of pass rush moves. Can't hold up against the run.
NFL Forecast: Unless Phillips adds more weight, his future is strictly at outside linebacker at the next level. He has great foundation to be a top pass rusher, but unless he gets bigger he'll never be more than a situational guy. Is going to stick at the next level, but it's questionable if he'll ever be a starter.
Value: Quickness almost merits a first day selection, but too limited to go that high.
Pros: Has a quick first step and shows good ability to get leverage versus the run. Has a good motor.
Cons: Doesnít do a good job getting off blocks, and lacks great edge speed.
NFL Forecast: Heís a good pass rusher, but not a stud. He will be an effective starter at the NFL level because he works hard and is gifted with good physical talent, albeit not great. Plays the run fairly well. Could be a good left end and has the frame to add more weight. He probably won't be a consistent double-digit sack guy but could make a good complimentary pass rusher that can rack up 6-8 sacks on a consistent basis per season.
NFL Comparison: Brady Smith, Falcons.
Value: A decent left end prospect that will be good, but not great.
Pros: Has quick first step and can get around the edge. Has good long speed and can make plays in pursuit. Has a good motor.
Cons: Lacks size to play on line and is a liability at the point of attack. Will get engulfed by blockers
NFL Forecast: He'll make a good rush linebacker in the 3-4 defense, but is too small to play on the line in the 4-3. He could add some weight since he does have the frame to support it, but he'll never be more than a situational guy on the line. He'll need some time to develop as a linebacker, but could become a quality starter there.
Value: Fifth round. A good upside selection for a 3-4 team. As an end, he'd be worth only a seventh round pick.
Pros: Has nice edge speed and burst up the field. Has good speed and can make plays in pursuit.
Cons: Doesn't have a variety of moves and lacks control as a pass rusher. Lacks strength and is a liability versus the run.
NFL Forecast: Dorsey will get looks because he has nice edge speed, but at the very best he'd have to be a situational pass rusher on the next level. Doesn't have a great frame for getting bigger. He could stick in the NFL, but he's not anymore special than the dozen of players of his ilk that enter the league each year.
Value: Doesn't distinguish himself from the other undersized end prospects, but is a good enough athlete to land in the late seventh round.
Pros: Has good edge speed and ability to make plays in pursuit. Good athleticism and strength. Shows a willingness and ability to drop into coverage.
Cons: Is not very strong at the point of attack versus the run. And a bit uncontrolled as a pass rusher as he is more intent on penetration than locating the ball.
NFL Forecast: He's a player that if he was 25 pounds lighter, I would say would make an excellent 3-4 outside linebacker. But alas, he is not and will have to stick at end. Looks like heís a good backup left end due to size. He needs to improve in run defense and needs to play more under control if he wants to stick on the next level. His size and athleticism should be able to keep him in the league however as a rotational backup that can come in on passing downs. If he learns to get leverage better, he might develop into a decent starter.
Value: Lacks polish, but has good athleticism and upside.
Pros: Has good edge speed, explosion, and a good motor. Shows some ability to make plays versus the run in pursuit. Has good toughness and strength for his size.
Cons: Lacks strength and size and struggles at the point of attack in the run game. Is not a dominating pass rusher that needs to beat you with his first move in order to get at the quarterback.
NFL Forecast: He is a good blue-collar pass rusher that works hard, but is not gifted with great athletic talent or ability. His lack of size hurts him, but he might be able to have a future as an outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. He needs more work to stick there, but he has better upside there than on the line. As an end, at best he can hope for is to be a situational pass rusher. If he could bulk up some more, and add 15-20 pounds he could be a decent left end.
NFL Comparison: Will Overstreet, Falcons.
Value: Has some talent, but too much of a tweener to go any higher.
Pros: Has a quick first step to get good push on the pocket. Can get leverage in the run game.
Cons: Lacks great edge speed. Can get engulfed at the point of attack and does a poor job shedding blockers.
NFL Forecast: He'll be a rotational type player at the next level if he sticks. He's not a great pass rusher, but he's better there than against the run. He has some upside, but right now he's nothing special as a player. He was a situational player at Michigan, so it's doubtful he'll be a starter in the NFL.
Value: Undrafted. Has some talent to bring into camp, but a longshot to really stick.
Pros: He has a good motor and is willing to drop into coverage. Plays controlled and disciplined and keys on the football. Will make plays versus the run in pursuit.
Cons: Lacks edge speed and burst upfield. Doesn't do a good job getting penetration. Doesn't play well at the point of attack and can get blown off the ball.
NFL Forecast: Lee is not going to be a top pass rusher at the next level. In fact, it would be a testament to the talent around him and his coaches if he racked up 5 sacks in the NFL in a season as a starter. He's an adequate pass rusher, but an effort guy. He looks to me like he'd make a solid rotational player that can spell starters for a few snaps. His problem is he is lacking both as a pass rusher and run stopper which will make it a really tough road ahead for him trying to make an NFL roster. But he plays hard on the field and I think he maybe able to impress a team enough to stick as a backup.
Value: Undrafted. There are much more talented prospects available, but he is worth a look.
Pros: Has decent edge speed and has a good motor for the pass rush. Has good strength and is capable at the point of attack.
Cons: Plays high and its questionable if he'll be able to get leverage versus the run on the next level. Doesn't have great pass rush ability.
NFL Forecast: He looks like a classic overachiever, that works hard and is able. At best, he might be a nice rotational player that can play on run downs. Has good size, but offers very little upside and ability as a pass rusher. Projects well to the left side, but he's only a two-down player at best.
Value: His size and ability versus the run are good, but too lacking as a pass rusher to get drafted.
Pros: Has a good first step and can get upfield. Has good speed and motor to chase runners sideline to sideline.
Cons: Shows poor recognition and will allow runners to go right by him. Is poor at the point of attack since he lacks size, bulk, and strength to be effective in the run game.
NFL Forecast: He might be able to convert to outside linebacker in the NFL if he does not bulk up, but would be a project at that position. At best, looks like he could be a decent situational guy, but not a great pass rusher. He'll really need to bulk up and get better at stopping the run if he wants to have an NFL future at end.
Value: Too raw and limited at this point to get drafted.
Pros: Has nice edge speed and motor. Good quickness and is an effective edge pass rusher. Shows the ability to shed blockers and can make plays in pursuit.
Cons: Doesn't get good leverage vs. the run and struggles at the point of attack. Could use some more weight to gain more strength.
NFL Forecast: He doesn't sport a great frame for adding a lot of bulk. If he put on more weight, he could be a decent left end in the 4-3 system. Not a dynamic pass rusher but able to put pressure on the quarterback. Has some talent and skills worth developing. His quickness and motor should be able to land him on an NFL roster or practice squad early in his career.
Value: Capable pass rusher with limited upside. Just not good enough to get drafted.
Pros: Gets good burst upfield. Has a good motor.
Cons: Not a pure speedy edge pass rusher. Lacks size and strength and will get engulfed at the point of attack.
NFL Forecast: Despite his lack of size, Jones is not one of those guys that has great edge speed. He probably would be a good fit as a left end if he was 15-20 pounds bigger, but he doesn't have the frame to really support that extra weight. Despite not having explosive edge speed, he's still a good pass rusher, and I think he has a shot at making it in the NFL. But he definitely needs to put on some weight so that the plays the run better
Value: Undrafted. Too small as of now to be an impact player.
Pros: Has good strength and can makes plays versus the run in pursuit. Has nice speed and a good motor. Is pretty decent at the point of attack because he can keep his pads low and get some leverage.
Cons: Lacks edge speed and a quick first step. Lacks the frame to put on more weight.
NFL Forecast: Smith could get some looks but will only have a chance to make an NFL roster because teams like his motor. He would probably be much better if he played a little lighter which would add some more quickness to his game. Plays more like a short, undersized defensive tackle. He'd probably have a shot at being a decent rotational backup at that position if he weighed close to 290 pounds. If anything, teams might look at him as a backup left end that can spell a starter for a few snaps per game.
Value: Undrafted guy that works and plays hard, but is too limited to go to the NFL.